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A Believer’s Influence

March 24, 2017
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Ever considered that your presence and union (familial) carries with it a great influence? That believers have an ability to permeate things that are unholy? That the grace that’s given to you can also bless others?

Growing up in my late twenties, I encountered a few verses in Corinthians that really shook me. 1 Corinthians 7 is a chapter that talks much about marriage. A part of marriage involves both man and woman, husband and wife, as well as their children. In this passage Paul is laying out parameters for how the husband and wife are to relate to one another due to their spiritual state.

The spiritual presence of one believer is POWERFUL.

“For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

What’s amazing from these two verses is that Paul is saying if the unbeliever wants to stay married, regardless of the temperature and pattern of your marriage, you do not divorce. Why? Because the unbeliever has been ‘sanctified’ simply through a marital union with the believer. The unbeliever is blessed simply for being connected to the believer in the primary family. God has always been big on families, and Paul is showing us that God has not changed one bit.

Then Paul goes on to say that the children who would be unclean if the parents divorced are now in fact holy because of his or her familial connection to a believing parent. Does that not rattle your cage a bit?

The unbelieving spouse and child are now in a different spiritual category. Notice the terms: unbeliever to sanctified and unclean to holy. That’s all due to the believing spouse and parent.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around it all but I cannot deny what the text is saying. It is clear that families with at least one believing parent are able to bless the entire family unit. The unbelieving spouse is considered sanctified though unsaved. The unbelieving child is considered holy though unsaved.

Indeed, the spiritual presence of one believer is powerful according to Paul’s inspired text.

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When Roundtables Don’t Get Results

March 15, 2017
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“Be slow to speak. Quick to listen. Slow to get angry.”

There’s something to be said about maintaining an open posture with both body and mind. To listen on most occasions means there’s a meeting of the minds coming to the table together to hash things out. Both sides come to talk and come with pre-planned responses to their objector. This is considered common.

Now make the topic of this roundtable discussion about inequality, injustices, racism, classism, or theological imperialism and you’ve got an explosive package that could level any playing field.

For a few years now I’ve began a habit of sitting down with folks who normally don’t look like me that also don’t agree with me. In some cases these people are extremely unhappy with me. Cannot understand how I can be a Christian that believes the Bible and yet points to injustices and calls for unified pushes for diversity in big and small ways. Even when I know the talk won’t go anywhere or might become toxic in a matter of minutes. I’m left with the what now question like they are most likely.

Here’s what I’ve discovered – roundtables in most cases don’t get results. I’m normally the one scratching my head trying to figure out if this talk made any impact, changed one life, or will evoke change. Sadly I’m never surprised by the amount of inaction or timidity. Lions in the convo but lames outside the building.

Be slow to anger and slow to conclusion jumping.

Part of me has to fully fall on my sword in order to trust in the Holy Spirit to work on these lives like he did with me. Other part of me has to wake up from the numbness ‘been there done that’ attitude that has been developed over time. There’s movable parts here at play. There’s noticeable but not easily admitted godly sorrow of idolatry going on. There’s unrighteous anger. There’s facts. There’s personal and preferred allegiances cloaked in the flag of the United States verbally decorated as Christianity. So many movable variables present at every roundtable.

And yet nothing seems to happen. Maybe another conversation. Perhaps some texting or social media interplay. Rarely is there action because these topics are so touchy and in your face. So although there’s no results, I vow to honor the commands of James above.


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Free Will Problem Solved

March 15, 2017
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Titles can be so gripping that it attracts different types of people to come forward to read what comes after the title in order to disagree, agree, or simply say “I figured it wasn’t gonna be worth much.” And yet here you are for whatever your reason may be. So allow me to be straight forward with this gripping title.

I believe I have solved the free will problem in this world as it’s found in the Bible. I say this because I’ve studied this subject much and have read the so-called leading minds in this debate. Often the discussion begins with philosophy, weaves in bible doctrine, and ends with a bang. For many years I’ve followed suit, and until recently, I began to question my approach.

Genesis 1 and 2 layout for us two things: what God created and for what purpose. It was that second thing that I tended to overlook. God created the sun and moon and stars to do their created functions. Do you see? God created the plants to grow, be beautiful, develop, and be food. Do you see? God created Adam and Eve to bear his image, have children, take care of the garden they inherited, and obey God. That was their function. Do you see?

Free will means freedom. Freedom to do what you were created to do. Adam and Eve had free will. Once they sinned, they lost their free will. They were no longer living in liberation. They were enslaved. Bearing children only left them enslaved. Cain and Abel actually lived out their lives being enslaved. Do you see?

All of the talk about having free will often goes undefined and detached to what God created the first humans to do. The new creation state of believers is a wrinkle that doesn’t get put into the equation, and that’s a problem too.


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